The things that I remember most about Christmas as a child are the traditions. I remember putting up the Christmas village underneath the tree, hiding my Secret Santa gift from its recipient & the anticipation for eating my Mom's homemade chicken noodle soup. As we have grown some of our holiday traditions have changed but many have remained. (homemade chicken noodle soup isn't going anywhere!)
My parents and siblings did Secret Santa when we were younger because I am one of four children and neither myself nor my siblings had any money to buy everyone gifts. We decided to do Secret Santa in which we choose one person’s name at random and bought that person a gift but kept it a secret until Christmas Eve. We loved the anticipation of seeing who had our name. As we grew older, we were able to buy everyone gifts, but we missed the childhood tradition we had grown to love. So, we started a spin on it. We still do Secret Santa, but we buy gag gifts instead. Usually it is in reference to a recent funny story or experience with that said person. Other times it is completely random. But it is all in good fun and we do not take it too far. For example, a few years ago my brothers, husband and brother in law were preparing to participate in a self-proclaimed lifting competition. So that year my brother got my brother in law a one-pound weight to "help him prepare". Watching my brother in law remove a teeny tiny one-pound weight from the giftbag was hysterical. We have had so much fun over the years with this. I literally cry laughing in response to at least one gift.
After having my oldest daughter Brian and I started a new holiday tradition. We go to church on Christmas Eve. Then we have a big Christmas Eve dinner. My husband and I open a bottle of wine or champagne that we save for the occasion. On Christmas morning we wake up and open gifts and then proceed to stay in our pajamas the entire day. We do not go anywhere. We eat leftovers for lunch and dinner. It is the best decision we have ever made. We get to enjoy every bit of Christmas together and my daughters’ get to play with their new toys.
Holiday traditions are some of my favorite memories. What are some of your favorite traditions throughout the years? Have they changed?